My Sister Has An Eating Disorder – My Discussion With My Sisters and How They Felt


Brothers / Sisters share a unique relationship with each other and when one becomes ill, particulary with an eating disorder, it can be confronting and scary. My sisters described to me that they experienced such a vast range of feelings, thoughts and emotions. Remember, you are not alone. My sisters found it very difficult during this time to know what they could possibly do to support and help me. Here is a list of some of the emotions they faced:
Anger – This is was one of the first emotions they felt. They blamed me for causing such hurt and pain in the family, as our mum was so devastated and blaming herself. Also, alot of family outings had been disrupted and changed because of my anorexia.

Grief and sadness – They wanted the old Melissa back again. The sister who was so full of energy and always bubbly and laughing. They simply didn’t understand why this was happening to our family.

Stress – Not wanting to open up about their feelings as they felt as if they were being selfish.

Knowing all of the above does break my heart. I was always the person in the family who would fix other people’s issues, and make sure everyone was happy. Now the tables had turned, and I was so ashamed that I was causing so much pain. I never wanted that.

Here are some tips that my sisters discussed with me to help others going through the same situation.

1. Educating yourself about the type of eating disorder your sibling has, in particular the behavioural changes that they might experience. It is best to have a deep understanding of what they are going through.
2. Be understanding when your sibling is moody, distant and angry. It is not your sibling, but the eating disorder overriding rational behavious.
3. Accept that their illness is not your fault.
4. Respect that it will be difficult for your sibling to open up and talk to you about what they are going through. Just let them know that they have your unconditional support and that you are always happy to listen and be there for them when they are ready.

When I was speaking to my sisters about my illness, I came to understand a lot more about how they were feeling. They were scared and didn’t know what to say a lot of the time, so they did distance themselves from me quite alot. My advise to others is to try and not do that. I know that I felt that they were being distant from me because they were so angry with me, but they weren’t, they just didn’t know what to say. This was an illness that was so foreign to our family. I think the fact that I was in complete denial for so many years didn’t help. It is only over the last few months that I can finally say, ‘YES, I HAVE ANOREXIA’. I can’t even explain just how amazing I feel to finally admit it, and not feel shameful and embarrassed anymore. I didn’t ask for this, and I would never want anyone to go through what I have dealt with. It has been the toughest journey ever, and I can know say that I feel like there such been such an improvement. I have been focusing on my true passion and purpose for this life, and I am undertaking a 56 day home study program, and I can honestly say that this program has been my turnaround, to believe that I am a great person, and I deserve to have the best life possible. I am now studying, and will have my diploma in Health Counseling at the end of the year, and with the 56 days home study program, I am in the process of setting up my own home based business, so that I can keep growing on the inside, inspire and help others with eating disorders, and spend more quality time with my children.

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